- Can You Blow a Doughnut-Shaped Soap Bubble?
- Oz The Great and Powerful
- Rikku Doesn't Like Walks
- Fleams, c. 1850
- Just On a Walk With My Monkey
- Married For 20 Years By Accident
- Someone Loves Cucumbers
- Gollum Plush
- Lego New York
- How Old is Old? When You Stop Shopping
- The 10 Manliest Funerals Of All Time
- Chart of Twitter Profiles
- Ten Ridiculous Japanese Monsters
- Fire Tuba
- The Law & Order Database
- Ink Calendar
- The Good Giraffe
- Top 10 Most Read Books In The World
- Woman Ran Over Husband for Not Voting
- Snow White Flocked Floral Handbag
- The Oldest Living Tree Tells All
- Rogue Planet
- Mr. Dogbert Looks Elegant Today
- On Becoming Trendy
- Nick Offerman - It Gets Fuller
- Exploring the Paris Metro’s Eerie Ghost Stations
- Spot the Differences
- Life Advice from a Cat
- The Carrot Rebellion
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 05:00 AM PST
The following is an excerpt from Why Are Orangutans Orange?
We're giving away two hardcover copies, too — leave a comment on this post to enter. Good luck!
Soap on a Hope
Is it possible to blow a toroidal soap bubble (one shaped like a ring doughnut)? And if it is, would it collapse immediately to a sphere? Could its life be prolonged by spinning its surface, as with smoke rings?
Blawith, Cumbria, UK
A soap bubble is the minimum surface which encloses a given volume. If a toroidal bubble were created, it would not provide such a minimum surface and would therefore tend to contract to reduce its surface area until it collapsed into a bubble which would then burst because of the forces created at the disappearing hole in the torus. This situation differs from that in a solid torus such as a bicycle inner tube, because soap bubbles can transfer part of their surface from the inner to the outer part of the torus as they shrink.
A temporary toroidal bubble could perhaps be created by sticking spherical bubbles in a ring and collapsing their shared walls, but the inner ring would undoubtedly degenerate as the number of bubbles decreased.
Soap bubbles are different from smoke rings, which have no surface but are composed of solid particles suspended in air. These are stable because different parts of the body can rotate at different speeds without causing degeneration.
As a mathematician who studies soap bubbles, I knew that a toroidal soap bubble was, under normal circumstances, impossible. The only stable equilibrium shape for a soap bubble is the sphere that most people easily recognise – a torus bubble should not even exist in unstable equilibrium.
So when the famous performer Tom Noddy (known as the Bubble Guy from the US TV show Tonight) told me that he once blew a toroidal bubble, I didn’t actually believe him until he showed me the photographic proof (below). The bubble didn’t last long, but it did exist briefly. Visit www.tomnoddy.com to see some further interesting examples.
Torus bubbles do occur in unstable equilibrium in double soap bubbles: an outer bubble wrapped around another at the centre, as in the diagram below – a copy of a computer simulation created by John M. Sullivan, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Illinois. More of his images are online at http://torus.math.uiuc.edu/jms/images/.
Williams College Massachusetts, US
We've got two copies of Why Are Orangutans Orange? to give away! To enter, leave a comment on this post. We'll choose two winners by random drawing. Good luck!
Illustrated for the first time, with eighty full-color photographs showing the beauty, complexity, and mystery of the world around us, here is the next eagerly awaited volume of science questions and answers from Mick O’Hare and his team at New Scientist. From ripples in glass to “holograms” in ice, the natural world’s wonders are unraveled by the magazine’s knowledgeable readers. Six years since its debut, this magnificent series still rides high in the international bestseller lists, with well over two million copies sold. Popular science has never been more absorbing or more enjoyable.
Mick O’Hare is the production editor of New Scientist. O'Hare's collections of answers to burning science questions include Will We Ever Speak Dolphin?, Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze? and Does Anything Eat Wasps?
Authors and publishers: Want to feature your book in front of millions of readers for free? Email info AT neatorama DOT com for details on Neatorama's Book Excerpt feature.
(Top image credit: Flickr user Xtream_i)
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST
Look! Dorothy's dream has a backstory! No, nobody expects the fantasy of the land of Oz to make sense, and why should it? The prequel about the wizard from Kansas has a full trailer, to get us excited about the movie Oz The Great and Powerful, which will not be in theaters until March. -via The Week
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 03:00 AM PST
Rikku doesn't like to walk. My dog is the same way. Unlike Rikku though, he loves to run. He is either standing still - sniffing some poop, or sprinting ahead full speed. If only he were a little bit more like Rikku.
-Via Daily of the Day
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 02:00 AM PST
Yes, these are fleams. What's a fleam, you ask? Why, just step right up, my friend, and I will tell you. Fleams are the latest thing in bloodletting. Are your humours out of balance? Got too much blood in your body? Put those leeches away. They're positively medieval!
Fleams are the answer. Baldness? Impotence? Bloating? Chicken pox? Foul moods? Trouble with your in-laws? Thrown from a horse? Get yourself a set of fleams and go to work.
You need fleams, yes you do. Probably coming soon to the NeatoShop, I expect. They're the perfect Christmas stocking stuffers. Step right up and get your set!
Don't take my word for it! Commenters, share how fleams changed your lives.
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 01:00 AM PST
From redditor Daviddesousa we get this beautiful picture of a girl walking her monkey. There isn't much information out there about the picture, its location, or the girl, but people of the internet seem to think it is Mumbai. I have always wanted to go to Mumbai, or well India in general. Anyone been? See the large version of this picture here.
Posted: 15 Nov 2012 12:00 AM PST
Taxidermy is an art, but the problem is that so many non-artists think they can do it. The results are sometimes so funny you can't believe they are unintentional. See a collection of hilarious attempts at Uproxx. Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 11:00 PM PST
Janeane Garefalo was recently surprised to learn she is married- for 20 years in fact. In the early 90's her and Rob Cohen, producer of The Big Bang Theory, were drunk together in Las Vegas. So inebriated were the two that they went through a drive-through chapel, pronounced man and wife, only to forget about for... well, 20 years.
It was only discovered when Cohen's lawyer was going through legal records preceding his second marriage. Wouldn't that be one interesting phone call? I wonder how the lawyer broke it to him.
"Well sir, unless you plan on converting to Mormonism... you are going to have to get a divorce before you can get married."
Update: Apparently they were listed on Wikipedia as married all this time. Both Garofalo and Cohen thought it was a practical joke on them and not in any way true.
-Via The Week
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 10:00 PM PST
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 09:00 PM PST
Gollum Plush - $11.95
Are you looking for the perfect gift for your favorite The Hobbit fan? You need the Gollum Plush from the NeatoShop. This precious little fellow is so powerfully tempting you may desire one of your own. You wants it, you needs it. You must have this plush.
Be sure to check out the NeatoShop for more fantastic Plush Toys.
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 09:00 PM PST
Lego New York by artist JR Schmidt is exactly that: a model of New York City made of Lego bricks. Schmidt used satellite images, pixelated them to scale correctly for Lego bricks, and built the city. And a good piece of New Jersey as well! See more images at Cargo Collective. Link -via The Daily What
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:00 PM PST
How old is old? According to a study by Michelle Barnhart of Oregon State University, whether someone is "old" depends not on age, but on ability to do things, like shopping, for example:
LiveScience has the article: Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 07:00 PM PST
You might think it would be a manly sendoff to have your coffin carried to the graveyard in a Harley Hearse. And you can do it, but how much more manly is it to drive a motorcycle to your own funeral? That's what David Morales Colón did. Sort of.
How could you have a more manly funeral than that? Well, there are many ways that men have pre-planned an unforgettable funeral, and you can read about them at MTV's Guy Code blog. Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 06:00 PM PST
I can tell you I am not the biggest enthusiast of Twitter, but I have to agree with this chart. Of the people I see on Twitter, most of them seem to fall into the "think they're stand up comedians" section. That or the "misused / over simplifying inspirational quotes" section. Okay that one isn't on the chart, but it should be. If I have to read another "live life like there is no tomorrow" quotes on Twitter... ...I will send you research and documents proving why and how exactly there wil be a tomorrow. So yeah, take that.
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 05:00 PM PST
Sometimes when tales told around the campfire get passed around, details are added along the way that make you scratch your head. The Geekout rounded up the weirdest monsters from Japanese folklore for a list that will make you more likely giggle than cower in a corner. Pictured here is the Akaname, a monster that will come into your bathroom at night and …clean it up! Really! That's the kind of monster I'd really like to have around, wouldn't you? Link-Thanks, Sebastian!
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 04:00 PM PST
While waiting for the bus in London, YouTube user FakieLeatherman came upon a tuba player being asked (harrassed?) to "just blow the bastard" by a passer-by. So, the busker complied ... in style!
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 03:00 PM PST
It's been almost two years since we told you about the Law & Order Database that Overthinking It was working on. But now they have finally finished up all the data from all 20 seasons of the show! The database results can be downloaded if you want to study them. Meanwhile, Overthinking It has some interesting graphs dealing with the disposition of cases on the various seasons, compared with real-life crime and with Neilsen ratings.
Now are they going to start on SVU and Criminal Intent? Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 02:00 PM PST
-Via My Modern Met
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 01:30 PM PST
After seeing a man suited up as a gorilla and playing the drums, Armstrong Baillie also decided to dress up. He chose giraffe and performed random acts of kindness across Scotland:
Angie Brown of BBC Scotland has more: Link (Photo: Kenneth Gray)
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 01:00 PM PST
I had an inclination that The Bible would be number one, but I had no idea by how much. I think it is a little skewed because of the chosen statistics. For one, it is over the last 50 years - which is a long span of time. The firstHarry Potter book wasn't published until 1997. The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003. I will not bother to look up Twilight. Ew, Twilight. Also this is based on books sold, I am sure The Bible does a whole lot of selling to churches and what not.
I would love to see this with just the last 10-12 years. I am not sure what other metric could be used besides sales but it would be worth looking into.
-Via Bits and Pieces
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 12:30 PM PST
We all know that voting is important, but who knew that failing to vote could (almost) cost your life?
Upset that her presidential candidate did not win the election, a 28-year-old Arizona woman blamed her husband for not voting and ran him over with the family car:
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 12:00 PM PST
Snow White Flocked Floral Handbag - $59.95
Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone you find utterly enchanting? Behold the dreamy Snow White Flocked Floral Handbag from the NeatoShop. This spellbindingly beautiful purse has exquisite embroidered details. Snow White adorns the front and a red apple is featured on the back. It is the perfect bag for frolicking around town.
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 12:00 PM PST
Neatorama readers know that the bristlecone pine tree is the oldest non-clonal living species (clonal tree species reproduce by spreading and splitting, sort of like bacteria, but older parts eventually die off). How did we first find this out? In 1964, Donald Rusk Currey, a graduate student of geology, discovered the tremendous age of a Great Basin bristlecone pine, after he had it cut down.
Collector's Weekly tells the whole story of Prometheus, plus the science of tree dating, and theories on why the bristlecone lives so long. Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 11:30 AM PST
Back in 1998, astronomer David J. Stevenson of Caltech theorized that there are planets that roam the vast expanses of cold interstellar space. (The technical term here is actually "planetary-mass objects", since "planet" has strict definition by the International Astronomical Union - just ask Pluto - but for laymen, planets will do.) Such planets do not revolve around any star.
Astronomers using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope in Hawaii and the Very Large Telescope in Chile have spotted one such rogue planet, giving credence to the hypothesis that rogue planets may be common:
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 11:00 AM PST
It certainly is not Mr. Dogbert. He looks so regal, I bet he gets all the ladies. I don't actually know if this is a male or female dog at all, I just usually assign gender based on my instinct. I also made up the name Mr. Dogbert, feel free to use it in the future.
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 10:30 AM PST
Justin Peters wasn't trendy, but since he's a journalist (he's an editor at the Columbia Journalism Review) and he lives in Brooklyn, it's just a matter of time before he becomes hip. It's inevitable, actually.
Thanks to his keen journalistic insticts, Justin realized that his transformation from a plain ol' guy to a trendy one is a journey that should be shared with the world. Here's his experience in trendy sleeping with dozens of pillow on his bed:
Slate has the full story: Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 10:00 AM PST
Where was this video a week ago!? Nick Offerman I needed you then. I caved, I have to admit it. I shaved - my beard was weird. I was probably somewhere in between a dirty hipster and a cheesy adult film actor. Not a good look for me. If only I had known it gets fuller.
To start over or not? Oh, thehumanity, these decisions are killing me. How are you guys doing on your Movember challenge? Still going strong or did you cave like I did? For those of you loving it, remember there is life after Movember. Like Decembeard.
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 09:30 AM PST
Quite a few subway stations underneath the City of Lights were closed when trains became bigger, and the city found it easier to build new stations nearby instead of redoing the old stops. Many of these are not accessible to the public, and there are even more of us who cannot get to Paris at all! The next best thing is to see these lost Metro stations through the photographs of French urbex photographers. See more pictures, and read about the abandoned Paris Metro places at Urban Ghosts. Link-Thanks, Tom!
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 09:00 AM PST
Rhett & Link made a music video in split screen, with a contest attached in which you are challenged to spot the differences between the two takes. That gimmick is for their sponsor, who is giving away prizes on Facebook (details at the YouTube link). If you don't want to jump through the necessary hoops to enter, you'll still enjoy the creepy song about common nightmares. -via Geeks Are Sexy
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:30 AM PST
If Dear Abby were a cat, what kind of advice would you get? Jeff Wysaski at Pleated Jeans gives us seven typical questions and the feline wisdom to deal with them. Link
Posted: 14 Nov 2012 08:00 AM PST
Spain recently raised the value-added-tax (VAT) on cultural activities to 21%, which didn't sit well with theater owners. One theater in Bescanó staged a revolt by using carrots! Theater owner Quim Marcé explains:
Theater patrons love the idea, and bought plenty of carrots. Marcé also has the support of the local mayor, but other officials say the scheme is plainly tax evasion. Link -via Arbroath
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